God calls each and every born-again believer to grow in his or her faith. We are to read the Bible daily and study it. We are to strive to be Christlike. And that’s not easy — at least not in this sinful world that we live in. In Hebrews chapter 6, the writer is reiterating that we should aim to be as rooted in our faith as we can be. The problem is that there is persecution and false teachings everywhere. The more we study God’s Word, the better prepared we are to defend the truth. Let’s dig in….
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.Hebrews 6:1-3 NLT
OK, so if we are born again Christians we should …
- Have repented of our sins (evil deeds) and placed our faith in God alone. That means stop sinning. Doing an absolute 180 degree turn in your life and to stop doing anything that is against God’s Word.
- Understand that baptisms are for adult believers to show the world and themselves that they are dying to their old selves and rising to a new life as a born again believer in Jesus Christ. (Not for babies.)
- Understand the power of prayer and the “laying on of hands” to heal, bless or anoint someone.
- Believe that when we die, because Jesus rose from the dead, he defied death and we, too, will be raised to be with Him in heaven. Furthermore, there is NO PURGATORY!
- Know that “eternal judgement” is for those people who do not invite Jesus into their hearts and continue to follow religions that are only leading them to hell.
That, my friends, are the basic principles of Christianity. Anything else has been twisted and watered-down over the ages to fit our culture and make us feel good. That’s not the truth!
4 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
7 When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.Hebrews 6:4-8 NLT
This reminds me of the Parable of the Sower that Jesus taught in Matthew chapter 13…
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 NLT
It’s interesting that Jesus actually explained the meaning of the parable to his disciples. He rarely did that. That goes to show the importance of this message.
The Seed of God’s Word
So, if God’s Word is the seed, what kind of soil are you? Do you sit in church daydreaming of what you’ll be doing in a few hours? Are you going through your to-do list in your head? Are you worried about your job or family? Are you worried about what’s happening in the world? Are you checking your social media hoping that no one notices you on your phone? Do just go through the motions like a robot? Do you lose your Christianity as soon as Monday rolls around? Are you a Sunday-morning Christian or a 24/7 Christian?
Or are you listening to the message and applying the Word of God to your life — each and every day? When you get home from church do you pull out your Bible or the Bible App and dig deeper into the scripture? Do you discuss it with friends or family members or in a small group? Do you tell others of the salvation and hope that you have as a Christian?
That’s something to think about.
Back to Hebrews 6
9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
God’s Promises Bring Hope
13 For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
14 “I will certainly bless you,
and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” [Genesis 22:17]
15 Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.Hebrews 6:9-20 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
Our Confident Hope
We learned about Melchizedek yesterday and we’ll talk more about Him tomorrow. Jesus is our High Priest. We don’t need to confess our sins to earthly priests for atonement, purification, absolution, justification, or sanctification. God made the people of the world a promise — an oath — that whoever believes in His Son shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3). Jesus is our refuge when our world is falling apart because we can hold on to that confident hope that this world is not all there is!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…